A truck driver has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for his involvement in a scheme that scammed oil companies out of nearly $2 million.
According to San Antonio Express-News, the Laredo, Texas truck driver, Ricardo Guevara, pled guilty to theft and wire fraud for his role in the theft of approximately 33,000 barrels of crude oil from companies drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale over the course of two years. On Wednesday, July 8th he received a 33 month sentence for each count and will serve them concurrently.
Guevara was also instructed to pay $1 million in restitution, to turn over the $414,000 he made from the scheme, and was sentenced to an additional year in prison for failing to file an income tax return in 2015. He is currently free on $50,000 unsecured bond but must return to serve his sentence on September 9th. He will be required to serve three years of supervised release following the completion of his prison sentence.
Guevara and four others were indicted in 2017. They were alleged to have stolen from tank batteries of at least three different energy companies from September 2013 through February 2016 and then selling the stolen oil to third-party companies who were unaware of the scheme.
“This was an opportunity by Mr. Guevara and others to get rich quick,” Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Lewis Jr. said during the hearing.
The other men involved, Luis Valencia, his nephew Mauricio Valencia, Romeo Garcia Jr., and Ricardo Sanchez Jr., have all been convicted on multiple charges. However, both Luis and Mauricio Valencia have been granted a retrial by the judge after finding a pretrial plea deal was never communicated to Luis Valencia by his attorney at the time.
Garcia was sentenced to 37 months in prison on each count, to run together and ordered to pay about $1 million in restitution, court records show.
Sanchez received two years of probation on each count and ordered to pay almost $77,700 in restitution.
“I take full responsibility for my actions, and I am truly sorry for the damage that I have caused,” Guevara told the judge. “I have learned that making careless decisions can tear me away from my children that I love with all my heart.”